David, Dave and I went to see a movie this evening. It was Dave's birthday and David was shouting him a movie. I tagged along because I need to get out every now and then. After knocking back the suggestion of the 'period drama was feminist overtones' and another film involving underage sex, Dave settled on a doco called 'Man on a Wire' which is about a Frenchman who decides to walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the WTO.
One of the most amazing parts of the film was the personality of the tightrope artist himself, Philippe. David used the word 'meglamaniac', and, if I was in a particularly medical mood, I would have been inclined to agree. But as it happened, Phillipe sucked me in alongside the disciples they showed onscreen, and captured my imagine as I watched him dance, suspended in the sky, between the towers of the Notre Dame, the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and finally, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. I, too, became a follower of Phillipe - a part of his artistic fantasy world as he strove to achieve nothing else but the beauty of a man dancing against the backdrop of a blue, blue sky. I was fascinated by his feet as he wrapped them around the wire and then delicately, deliberately, picked one up and placed it another step forward. There is something beautiful in perfect balance - though he remains asymmetrical, changing positions constantly, he retained a perfect alignment, like the elements of the universe meeting at his core.
The women in Phillipe's life were followers - their destiny swamped by his; their purpose to support him, as long as he wanted. Phillipe had no room in his life for any desire other than his own. And wouldn't it be easy to fall into a groove chiseled so deeply and passionately by another! Phillipe had a charisma that made people believe that his dream was the only dream that was worth living for. Watching his disciples plan and work and play around him, I sensed their joy in knowing that they were living for a passion, a purpose - even if it was somebody else's. We can't all be visionaries. For some of us, it's good enough to live and work beside those who see beyond - to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves; beyond this Earth. I can see how cults are formed. For those of us who are unsure, we put trust into those who see the world with clarity and passion.